'Beauty and the Beast' features first interracial kiss in Disney live-action film
"Beauty and the Beast" will be the first live-action Disney film to feature an interracial kiss.
Directed by Bill Condon, the upcoming musical movie is a remake of the studio's 1991 animated film of the same name, and stars Emma Watson as Belle, a young woman taken prisoner by the Beast (Dan Stevens) in his enchanted castle in exchange for the freedom of her father.
While Watson has previously revealed that Belle has a feminist outlook in the new film, Condon has now confirmed that there will be another groundbreaking moment in the film, a romantic encounter between piano Cadenza (Stanley Tucci) and Madame de Garderobe (Audra McDonald).
"I didn't give it a second thought, then at the preview, the (Disney) chairman told me that it was the first and second interracial kiss in a Disney movie," said Condon during an interview with BBC Radio 4's Front Row. "That shocked me. I was surprised it hadn't happened before.... and they (Disney) were excited by that."
Previously released animated Disney movies, such as 1995's Pocahontas, have portrayed interracial kisses.
On Wednesday, Condon also revealed that his film includes Disney's first gay character.
In an interview with Attitude magazine, he shared that villager Le Fou, as played by Josh Gad, is attracted to the film's main antagonist Gaston, portrayed by Luke Evans.
"LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston," he said. "He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realizing that he has these feelings.
"And that's what has its pay-off at the end, which I don't want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie."
Beauty and the Beast, which also stars Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson, hits theaters from March 16.